EU approves €303 million in grants for four new flagship infrastructure projects in BiH

The European Commission announced on 30 June a new financial package to support 14 investment flagships in transport, energy, environment, human capital, and private sector support in the Western Balkans. Of these, four infrastructure projects are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the country will also benefit from four regional projects.

A new package worth €2.1 billion to accelerate the European perspective of the Western Balkans

The 14 new investment flagships in the Western Balkans are worth a total of €2.1 billion. This includes €528 million in EU grants from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III), additional bilateral contributions from EU Member States and Norway, loans from international financing institutions, and contributions from the economies of the Western Balkans.

The investments are made through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which is a joint financial platform of the European Commission, financial organisations, EU Member States, and Norway aimed at enhancing cooperation in public and private sectors investments for the region’s socio-economic development and contributing to the European integration of the Western Balkans. The WBIF is the main financial vehicle for implementing the EU’s ambitious Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

This is the fifth investment package under the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans. Projects have been prepared in close cooperation with the Western Balkans partners and the international financial institutions to accelerate the European perspective of the region.

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “With this new investment package we are sending a loud and clear message to our Western Balkans partners: their future is within the EU and we are making steady progress to close the economic development divide. These projects will better connect the region from within and with the EU, help decarbonise their economies, and support the competitiveness of the private sector in the region. Now, I call on our Western Balkans partners and international financial institutions to rollout these projects as soon as possible so citizens and businesses in the region can reap the benefits from these investments.”

Over half the EU grant component is allocated to BiH

Of the total of €528 million in EU grants allocated for the region, €303 million in grants have been allocated for Bosnia and Herzegovina for four important projects that will provide concrete benefits for citizens in terms of improving transport, clean energy and the environment. The total investment facilitated by these grants, together with the loans from the international financial institutions, is coming to €788 million. The four projects that have been approved are:

Road Corridor Vc: Ozimice – Poprikuše Motorway Subsection

This investment project will construct 11.9 km of motorway on Corridor Vc, from Ozimice to Poprikuše, including 5 tunnels and 9 bridges.

Road Corridor Vc: Mostar North – Mostar South Motorway Section

This investment project will construct of 14.2 km of motorway on Corridor Vc, starting before the Mostar North interchange and ending after the Mostar South interchange.

Sarajevo Water Project

This project seeks to reduce water losses by replacing or rehabilitating ageing pipelines, pumping stations and wells, adding or improving about 4,000 new household connections. It aims to improve the overall efficiency of water supply in the wider Sarajevo Canton.

Rehabilitation of Čapljina Pump Storage Hydropower Plant

Rehabilitating PSHPP Čapljina is essential for increasing the share of renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions. The project will rehabilitate PSHPP Čapljina’s equipment, ensuring generation and pumping potential for another 15 years of operation.

BiH will also benefit from four regional investments

Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from four regional flagships worth a total of €944 million, of which the EU is providing €142 million in grants:

  • Safe and Sustainable Transport Programme (SSTP)
  • GGF: Promoting Green Lending in the Western Balkans (II)
  • Sustainable Access to Finance for Entrepreneurship – SAFE
  • Go Digital in the Western Balkans

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